Posts Tagged 'selflessness'

Giving

JESUS SPEAKING

     “It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20: 35.)

INSPIRED THOUGHTS

    The word ‘blessed’ most commonly translates into the English word for ‘happiness.’  Those who live a ‘blessed’ life regularly experience joy, peace, and contentment, despite the presence of any challenging circumstances.  Such a pleasant existence can only be achieved and maintained through daily acts of sacrificial service.  And yet, nearly every human being is resoundingly selfish.  In an endeavor to acquire as many possessions as possible, some have become isolated, discouraged and depressed. They remain unaware that genuine happiness doesn’t come from selfish gratification; but instead, is the product of selfless giving.

     Michael Norton, a Harvard business professor sought to discover a link between overall happiness and daily giving.  He conducted an experiment in which a small amount of money was given to a group of test subjects.  Half of the participants were instructed to spend the money on themselves; the other half were told to spend the money on someone else.  When researchers contacted the subjects at the end of the day, they found that those who had spent the money on someone else reported feeling much happier than those who had selfishly squandered their allotted funds.  [Note:  In another study, Norton found that sales team productivity and relationship quality increased as salespeople were given money to spend on other team members.]

     Professor Norton had discovered that, although selfish gain seems appealing, it also lacks the power bring about lasting joy.  Genuine peace and contentment are the result of selflessness and sacrifice.  By serving and giving we can demonstrate the generosity and love of Jesus Christ. May we never forget that happiness doesn’t originate from what we might receive, but rather, from what we are willing to give.

     “Lord Heavenly Father, continue to shower us with your many blessings.  As we love and serve our fellows, may we be filled with Your unending joyfulness and peace.  May our selfish desires come to an end; that through us, countless wandering souls might come to glorify Your Wonderful Name.  We love You Father, we praise You, and we thank You; and we ask and pray all of these things, according to Your will, in Jesus Christ’s name.  Amen.”  God bless all of you!

Give Without Expectations

JESUS SPEAKING

   “And if you lend to those from whom you hope to receive back, what credit is that to you?  For even sinners lend to sinners to receive as much back” (Luke 6: 34.)

INSPIRED THOUGHTS

  Even the most selfish human beings will lend to those who can eventually repay them.  Jesus therefore implored His disciples to exercise genuine selflessness; to freely give; expecting nothing in return.  All those who yearn to achieve true Godliness, must also strive to practice the art of sacrificial giving.

 Some time ago, while I was preparing to leave the gym, an acquaintance approached me and asked to borrow ten dollars.  After receiving the money, he repeatedly insisted that he would pay me back.  Using this scripture as my guide, I informed him that the money wasn’t from me; it was from God.  So I didn’t require, nor did I desire, any form of repayment.  Eventually he understood that the cash wasn’t a loan; it was a gift.  As we parted ways, the blessings of obedience filled my heart with joy.

  The Lord yearns for His disciples to standout; to shine; to be more loving and more charitable than the worldly masses.  Giving without expecting repayment is just one of many characteristics of genuine faith.  Whether a stranger is begging for change, or a family member needs financial assistance, we must freely give, when we are able, in order to fulfill God’s desires.  May we continue to embrace divine charity; giving without restriction; that through sincere obedience, we too might receive eternal rewards.

   “Lord Heavenly Father, help us to be generous and kind; to give without expecting anything in return.  May we focus more on eternal blessings than Earthly rewards.  May Your love flow through us; that our faith might be a light to all those who walk in darkness.  We love You Father, we praise You, and we thank You; and we ask and pray all of these things, according to Your will, in Jesus Christ’s name, amen.”  God bless all of you!

Sacrifice is Love

JESUS SPEAKING

   But he, wanting to justify himself, said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”  Then Jesus answered and said: “A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, who stripped him of his clothing, wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead. Now by chance a certain priest came down that road. And when he saw him, he passed by on the other side.  Likewise a Levite, when he arrived at the place, came and looked, and passed by on the other side. But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was. And when he saw him, he had compassion.  So he went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine; and he set him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him.  On the next day, when he departed, he took out two denarii, gave them to the innkeeper, and said to him, ‘Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, when I come again, I will repay you.’  So which of these three do you think was neighbor to him who fell among the thieves.” And he said, “He who showed mercy on him.”  Then Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise” (Luke 10: 29 – 37.)

INSPIRED THOUGHTS

     In this parable a man is badly beaten, robbed, and left to die on the side of the road. Two supposed religious leaders simply ignore the man’s desperate condition; placing their own desires ahead of God’s will.  In general, the Jews considered Samaritans to be Godless degenerates; and yet in this illustration, the only one to show compassion and love for the wounded stranger, was the Samaritan.  His love was expressed in the form of sacrifice.  Unlike the priest and the Levite, the Samaritan sacrificed his time, his wealth, and his reputation to assist the injured man.  Without sacrifice there is no real proof of love.

    In life, infants undeniably demand a great deal of time, attention, and resources.  ‘Good parenting’ is therefore a synonym for ‘sacrifice.’  New parents can expect to forfeit countless privileges on behalf of their children.  It is estimated that in the first year of a child’s existence, they will need to be changed 2500 times and fed every 4 hours.  Similarly, newborns must be burped, bathed, clothed, held, and played with every day; actions which require a great deal of selflessness and sacrifice.

     Like the Samaritan, and like any good parent, Jesus Christ has asked His children to lay down their selfish pursuits to love and care for those in need.  If we embrace a spirit of sacrifice, then God will provide us with opportunities to love our families, our friends, and our neighbors.  As we accomplish the will of God, our hearts will know peace and we will inherit the eternal blessings that He has promised to those who faithfully serve Him.

  “Lord Heavenly Father, please give us the courage and strength to embrace selflessness and sacrifice. May we be filled with compassion; may we always seek the lost; and may we continually display love for those in need.  Through the power of Your Holy Spirit, make us more like You each and every day.  We love You Father, we praise You, and we thank You, and we ask and pray all of these things, according to Your will, in Jesus Christ’s name.  Amen.”  God bless all of you!


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